Skip to comments.Senate Dems refuse to seat Blagojevich’s pick
Posted on 12/30/2008 12:32:54 PM PST by radar101
Senate Democratic leaders are refusing to seat Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevichs choice for President-elect Obamas former seat.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) issued a joint statement blasting Blagojevich for naming Roland Burris to the seat and said they will block his appointment.
It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety, Reid and Durbin said.
Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.
The two leaders emphasized they were not judging Burris, but simply noting the ethical cloud over Blagojevich. They also pointed out the Senate faces a heavy legislative calendar in January. They repeated their call for the Democratic governor to resign and their threat to refuse any appointment he makes.
We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment, the statement reads. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.
But questions remain as to what authority the Senate has when it comes to accepting or rejecting a gubernatorial appointment.
Associate Senate Historian Don Ritchie said the four examples since 1913 include Democrat Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, who died while a Senate committee was investigating corruption charges against him in 1947; Republican Frank Smith of Illinois, whom the Senate voted against seating due to corruption charges in 1928, and Democrats Henry Clayton and Franklin Glass of Alabama, both of whom withdrew their bids in 1913 after a dispute arose over the governor's authority to appoint them.
Ritchie also said senators are often seated but then investigated by the chambers Rules Committee to determine whether any charges against the senator have merit.
That was the case in Sen. Mary Landrieus case, Ritchie noted for example. The Louisiana Democrat won a narrow election in 1996 and was seated while the Rules Committee probed charges of voter fraud before ultimately exonerating Landrieu after 10 months
But Ritchie conceded the Blagojevich situation was different.
We really havent had a case like this, he said. Theres just nothing quite comparable.
Burris, 71 and African-American, is a former state comptroller and attorney general of Illinois. He also was Blagojevichs Democratic primary opponent in the 2002 governors race and was endorsed by Obama in that primary battle. Burris and Blagojevich have long since patched over any differences Burris praised the governor to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2006.
"I can't see how anyone can say he is not governing," Burris said at the time. "I think he is doing a helluva job."
Blagojevichs move comes despite allegations that he attempted to sell Obamas seat for his personal benefit, according to a complaint filed by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, which cited wiretapped conversations.
Burris was not on the list of preferred candidates that Rahm Emanuel, Obamas incoming White House chief of staff, sent over to Blagojevichs staff.
An Obama spokesman said the transition team had no comment on Blagojevichs move right now.
After Blagojevichs initial arrest, Reid and Durbin both reacted early, pressing him not to make any appointment. At a Dec. 9 press conference, Durbin called for a special election, saying, No appointment by this governor under these circumstances can produce a credible replacement.
A day later, in a letter to Blagojevich written by Reid and Durbin and signed by all other Democratic senators, the Democratic leaders told the embattled governor any appointment by you would raise serious questions For the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you to refrain from making an appointment to the Senate.
Reid and Durbin also threatened Blagojevich that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment, we would be forced to exercise our constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.
Blagojevich's move Tuesday surprised even his own lawyer, who said only a week and a half ago that the governor would not make an appointment.
“The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.
Gee, if only they’d said that to The Nameless One.
I wonder if The Kenyan will issue a statement from his Hawaiian villa...
Lt Gov Quinn speaking now. Everyone seems to want their 15 minutes of fame today!
Quinn says Blago is not fit to make appointments!
Yep, that’s the thing to do. Deny a black man his just reward.
I doubt he will. He’s too busy fuming right now.
These Democrats are squealing like stuck pigs. The Republicans are queit as a mouse. Hmm. Either somethin is stinking in obamaland or..The Republicans are a bunch of RINO Whussies glad to back in the minority role. I gotta go get more popcorn.
It might be wise for The One to remain in seclusion in his Hawaiian Villa until he is smuggled into DC shortly before inauguration time on Jan 20.
We haven’t yet heard from the crime family ‘mr big’. So I would guess Chumpy apparently told them to get out there and squeal.
Republicans should oppose attempts to block this fine man.
Sorry to have to tell you, but calling Illinois Republicans “RINOs” would be flattering them. Republicans (not to mention Conservatives) are somewhere South of Square One in this blue state.
It is memorable however, for the first time I am rooting for Harry Reid.
This demonstrates once again why the Democrat Party is the Party of Bull Conner, dogs, fire hoses, cross burnings, lynchings, and every kind of despicable racist behavior.
Harry Reid and his racist ‘Rat colleagues would no doubt tell Roland Burris to be sure and get a ticket for the BACK of the bus, for his trip to Washington to be refused his rightful position.
A shameful day indeed.
An interesting shift in Reid's position. It's not clear that the Senate has the authority to refuse to seat an otherwise qualified member, but they could certainly refuse to include him in the Democratic Caucus or give him committee assignments.
Cue Kanye West: “Reid hates black people!”
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? Counting Crows.
From David Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com/DiscoverTheNetworks.org:
PROFILE: BOBBY RUSH:
* Democratic Member of Congress
* Member of the radical Progressive Caucus
* In 1968, went AWOL from the U.S. Army
* Co-founder of the Illinois branch of the Black Panther Party
* In 1969, served six months in jail for an illegal weapons conviction
* Advocates reparations for African Americans
From the Maoist Internationist Movement:
[1960s/original] Black Panther Party [BPP] Archives
From the article: REVOLUTIONARY HEROES
"On May 1st, May Day , the day of the gigantic Free Huey rally, two of Alioto's top executioners vamped on the brothers from the Brown Community who were attending to their own affairs. These brothers, who are endowed with the revolutionary spirit of the Black Panther Party defended themselves from the racist pig gestapo.
Pig Joseph Brodnik received his just reward with a big hole in the chest. Pig Paul McGoran got his in the mouth which was not quite enough to off him.
The revolutionary brothers escaped the huge swarm of pigs with dogs, mace, tanks and helicopters, proving once again that "the spirit of the people is greater than the man's technology."
To these brothers the revolutionary people of racist America want to say, by your revolutionary deed you are heroes, and that you are always welcome to our camp."
Source: Maoist Internationist Movement
Article: REVOLUTIONARY HEROS (May 11, 1969):
Genson (Blago’s mob lawyer) knows Chicago. They are working on reasonable doubt and jury nullification. Burris said he hadn’t spoken to Blago until 48 hours ago. This is probably true. This means that Burris isn’t on any of the tapes.
Reasonable doubt: “I may have mentioned something that sounded like “pay for play”, but when I acted, I acted in the best interest of Illinois by appointing someone with no quid pro quo involved. There is no thought crime in my America!
Jury nullification: They will seek a Chicago venue with minority jury members and go for the idea that if you convict Blago, you eliminate Burris, the first African-American elected nationwide!
This is great.
They can legitimize Blago by respecting his pick or they can anger blacks by refusing to seat a black man in the “black seat”.
Who knew I would ever see a statement like that describing a Democrat on this site. Why do you think he's such a good pick?
Just love it when the Rats get all twisted up in their underwear! Hope it lasts for a few more weeks (months)!
Burris, at 71, doesn’t have an age issue?
But, McCain did?
Is the Senate now an affirmative action seat too?
“Dems send Burris to the back of the bus!!!”
....film at 11...
How sweet it is!
Howyadoin barack baby?
Re#15 I saw that. The best part is that Reid cannot “not seat” the Gov’s pick until the Senate is convened. I wonder if there is public debate as well? LOL. More popcorn, please...
OK, Senator Reid, if you won’t accept the Governor’s appointment how about backing a special Illinois election for the Senate seat. Let the PEOPLE decide.
I love this Blago guy. A masterful stroke - nominate the senior statesman black guy with a good state reputation (and history of political contributions). Blago is not out of it yet . . .and is going to be here to provide lots of entertainment!
Notice how the article points out how quick the national Dems were to denounce any Blago pick by stating that a special election should occur but then ignores how the local Dems, with the support of their federal cousins, has since shot down any idea of the Ill. voters being allowed to choose. That is the people deserve to be represented but the people have no right to choose their representation, under the cloudy circumstances presented.
The fact that Reid and Durbin state that the Senate will shoot down Blago's appointment of Burres not because of his qualifications or integrity but because Burres would enter the Senate in a cloud of controversy in effect DOES question the integrity of Burress.
There has now been a three week delay to hold a special election, the only choice that seems fair under the circumstances.
Blago has put the Dems in and out of Ill. in a pickle on a variety of levels - race, voting, corruption yada yada.
I think you’re spot on with your analysis.
Whoops - Burris, not Burres.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. After lurking for years, I finally joined about two months ago. You are the first person to agree with me about anything! :0)
I think the fix is in. Blago’s got dirt on The Kenyan. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fitzgerald gets the boot on Inauguration Day.
Well, let’s not get all emotional. Anyway, welcome to FR.
Don't want to be caught short, stock up now. This Blago-Obama transaction affair is not going away.
Quinn says Blago is not fit to make appointments!
Quinn is not fit to say that Blago is not fit. Let the sheeple of Illinois say who is and who isn't.
When your opponent is shooting himself in the foot it's sometimes better to just sit back, be quiet, and watch him do it.
The conventional wisdom is that BO can't/won't fire Fitz because of the political fallout. I disagree--the presstitutes will cover the 0ne as they have and will continue to do so. My hope of hopes is that Fitz already has the goods on the "Kenyan" and is not afraid to pull the trigger and, fearing justice will not be done if he is fired, pulls it. Perchance, to dream...
Not to worry....the Dem's feel safe having gotten their token black Kenyan houseboy in the White House.....
Do you think he remembered to bring his The Office of the President Elect sign with him?
They can just vote present I believe.
Huh? Although your first two points about Burris not being on the tapes, and reasonable doubt make sense, your third point makes zero sense.
We have exactly two federal offices that are filled by nationwide elections, president and vice president. If you mis-typed Burris when you meant Obama, it's true he is the first (half) black elected nationwide, but even if Blago is convicted (he has to be indicted first, but hasn't been), that will not eliminate Obama's presidency.
Blago is appointing Roland Burris to fill the now-vacant junior senate seat for one state, Illinois. Even if you mis-typed "nationwide" while meaning "statewide," that doesn't compute since Obama was elected senator in an Illinois statewide election.
Re#36 Agreed, and it just gets better. The Obama transition team sure did not expect this type of distraction as they prepared to deliver the 0ne to the masses, more and more who are realizing that BO is just another corrupt Chicago pol. Methinks too that the Clintons are not done yet. They don’t forgive and forget. But for the potential harm to this great country, I would be really enjoying this...
The dems are fighting the appointment of a Black man for a position that has become a “Black man only” position....
Well by golly, I think that’s RACIST!!
Reid and his white hooded pals are trying to hold the brother down. Is this the new KKK?????
Will the new logo for the DNC be a burning cross, perhaps a noose. Perhaps their slogan should be, “if it’s Black, we must attack”.
I challenge all thinking Black folks of America, to come together by the millions and fight, by what ever means necessary, this blatant and clearly racist attempt by the democrat party to lock talented and honest blacks out of power.... and return them to chains.
Ok, back to my popcorn.... this is so much fun to watch..... let the riots begin. LOL
You gots to separate the appointee froms the appointor-George”Kingfish”Stevens.
I think the gist of PasorBob’s point is true; it’s the fact that’s mistaken. Obama was the first Black elected to the Senate. He’s also the first Black elected to the Presidency. But his point about the affect this will have on potential jury members can’t be overstated. That’s exactly what the Blagojevich camp would want to have happen.
But this may well be moot. I don’t see Dingy Harry and Dubrin standing up to the heat this will bring on them; unless they have their own Black candidate in mind to offset the racist theme. I don’t know who that would be, but Triple J comes to mind...
And you don’t think Obammunism is going to harm the country?
If it were joe sixpack instead of the crooked governor he would have been in jail on day one.